• Press Release

Pennsylvania State Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes Nominated for EMILYs List’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award

March 13, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Pennsylvania state Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes is a nominee for the 2024 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. EMILYs List President Jessica Mackler released the following statement:  

“As the first woman to represent Pennsylvanian’s 24th House District and the first out lesbian legislator in the state’s General Assembly, state Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes has broken down barriers and shattered glass ceilings for Pennsylvanians, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. She has been a staunch advocate for her community her entire career, founding a reproductive justice organization and working to support Black women, gender and sexual minorities, and disadvantaged businesses. EMILYs List is proud to offer Mayes the support and recognition of the EMILYs List community and look forward to seeing her deliver even more results for Pennsylvanians.”

La’Tasha D. Mayes is a Pennsylvania state representative who ran to disrupt politics as usual in Harrisburg and to unapologetically advocate for racial, gender, and economic justice that centers marginalized communities. She is a Pennsylvania native and currently represents Pennsylvania House District 24 in the city of Pittsburgh. After nearly 25 years of leadership in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movements, she ran for elected office and in 2022 became the first woman ever elected to serve her district and the first out lesbian to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.  Mayes is an outspoken voice on reproductive justice in the House and continues to advance reproductive rights in the state Assembly. Mayes was first endorsed by EMILYs List in 2022.

Named in honor of the dedicated and courageous Gabrielle Giffords, the Rising Star Award celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office. The award honors a woman who demonstrates the sort of commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and determination and civility that have been the highlights of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ career, in and out of office. Previous Rising Star Award recipients include: former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014; former Boston City Councilwoman, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley in 2015; former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016; former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym in 2017; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018; California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo in 2019; former Ohio House Minority Leader, U.S. Rep. Emilia Sykes in 2020; Harris County, Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo in 2021; former Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen in 2022; and Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell in 2023. 

The Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award winner will be chosen with community input. Online voting will open on Friday, March 15 and can be found here

La’Tasha D. Mayes is nominated alongside:

Laura Terech, Arizona state representative

Nabilah Islam Parkes, Georgia state senator

Sarah Anthony, Michigan state senator

Selena Torres, Nevada state assemblymember

Laschrecse Aird, Virginia state senator

Greta Neubauer, Wisconsin Assembly minority leader

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.